Abstract 16081: What is the Societal Impact of Sudden Cardiac Death in the United States?
Introduction: Sudden cardiac death (SCD) is a major public health problem, yet research into effective prevention and treatment is limited. We sought to define the societal impact of SCD mortality in relation to individual and combined cancer mortality.
Methods: SCD mortality rates were estimated by extrapolating age- and sex-specific population-based rates from an ongoing large community-based study of SCD in a Northwest US County (Pop. 700,000) to the US population. Between 2002 and 2004, SCD cases in the County were identified at the time of the cardiac arrest through partnerships with the local emergency medical response system, medical examiner and area hospitals as part of the Oregon Sudden Unexpected Death Study. Records were reviewed and cases adjudicated as SCD when a witnessed sudden pulseless condition of presumed cardiac origin was observed, or a patient was found dead after having been observed alive and in their baseline state of health within 24 hours prior. SCD rates for the US population were estimated using County rates defined in 18 age strata. Cancer mortality rates were estimated using age- and sex-specific rates from death certificate data on underlying cause of death in the US population for 2003. Years of potential life lost (YPLL) were calculated using US life tables from the Berkeley Human Mortality Database.
Results: SCD was associated with significantly greater YPLL than any individual cancer for men or women. Women [[Unable to Display Character: –]] SCD led to an estimated 1.2 million YPLL and all cancers combined led to 4.2 million YPLL. In all age ranges, SCD caused more loss of life than breast cancer. Men [[Unable to Display Character: –]] SCD led to an estimated 2.2 million YPLL and all cancers combined lead to 3.8 million YPLL. SCD lead to more loss of life than lung, colorectal and prostate cancers combined (1.8 million YPLL). For men under age 55, SCD led to more loss of life (1.1 million YPLL) than all cancers combined (1.0 million YPLL).
Conclusions: Among women across all age ranges, SCD is responsible for more loss of life than breast cancer; among men <55 years, SCD is responsible for more life lost than all cancers combined. These findings have health policy implications for prioritization of preventive care based on age and gender.
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.